US President Donald Trump issued another veiled threat to Google and social media giants Facebook and Twitter over fake news, stating that these companies are “treading on very, very troubled territory”.
These tech platforms should “better be careful, because you can’t do that to people”, the US President said during an Oval Office press meeting, according to a report in The Verge on Tuesday.
“I think Google is really taking advantage of a lot of people,” Trump was quoted as saying.
Earlier, in a series of Tuesday morning tweets, Trump said that Google search algorithms are designed to silence conservative voices.
“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media,” Trump had said.
“In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me and others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent,” the President added.
“Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96 per cent of results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous,” Trump said, concluding that “Google and others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
Trump provided no further details on the matter, but he appeared to base his remarks on an unscientific study by PJMedia, a conservative opinion blog, that came to the conclusion that most of the search results in searches performed on Google for Trump-related issues come from what the blog deems to be left-wing publications.
Google on Tuesday denied the claims that its search engines are “biased towards any political ideology”.
“When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds. Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” Efe quoted Google as saying in a statement.
The firm said that “every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”